Land Matrix

The Land Matrix promotes transparency and accountability in decisions about land investments. We helped the scientists behind the data develop an interactive, explorative platform, catering to different levels of user knowledge.




The key tool of the initative is an online platform offering acces to the land-grabbing data via three different layers. Get the idea uses interactive visualizations (built with the d3js framework) to show the phenomenon of large-scale land acquisitions. Get the detail lets you delve deeper into the data using pre-configured entry points to group-specific attributes and filter the data according to your interests. With Get involved you can download the entire data set for your own project or contribute new land deals to the dataset.




You can add new deals and deal characteristic via a multi-step form wizard. Your contribution is then run through a two-level approval/decline process to ensure a high level of data quality. The data are first assessed by ‘research assistants’ with good regional knowledge, who have the option to approve, decline or revise the deal. Approval from a ‘research admin’ is required before the deal is added to the publicly-available data. The whole process is managed within a dedicated section of the platform.




Technologies we used for this project:

  • The data is stored in a PostgreSQL database.
  • The deal data is stored as key value pairs in the database.
  • The platform runs with the Django Web-Framework and Django CMS.
  • A series of Django CMS plugins and some app hooks give the editors the flexibility to edit and organise the content.
  • d3js and rgraph powers the interactive visualisations.
  • The front end is built with bootstrap 3 and the help of jQuery.

I was responsible for the back-end development, parts of the front-end development and the project management. I also contributed to a relaunch, with a planned release date in Q1/2017, which includes an updated concept, design and refined worklow.
The project was run and managed by sinnwerkstatt Medienagentur.

Land Matrix in the media: Vice MagazineThe Guardian, Die Zeit (german) and Die Süddeutsche (german).


You got an interesting idea for a platform and need a technical consultant and developer to bring it online?
Contact me, I’d love to help you!